April 4, 2009
SAN DIEGO- Five of Washington's six crews won their heats Saturday in the 36th Annual San Diego Crew Classic, and all six crews advance to their grand finals to be held Sunday.
The first race the Huskies participated in was the first heat of the Copley Cup. Harvard started fast, leading by maybe a seat after the first 500 meters. The two crews battled through the second 500, with the Crimson maintaining a slight edge. The Huskies poured it on in the last 500 meters, opening up a half a seat lead. In the final stretch, Washington continued to row hard, beating the Crimson over the line by three seconds. Washington finished the race in 5:51.65, winning the heat and advancing to the grand final to be held at 9:30am Sunday, where they will face Harvard, Brown, Syracuse, Stanford, California and Princeton.
"Our goal was to progress to the finals tomorrow and we accomplished that goal," said head men's coach Michael Callahan. "We're looking forward to racing tomorrow. It should be a very exciting finals against some strong rivals."
Next on the docket were the Jessop-Whittier Cup heats. The Huskies got out to a quick start in the first heat, opening up a two and half second lead over Michigan. At the halfway point, Michigan had closed the gap somewhat, but the Huskies still held the advantage. In the third 500 meters, Washington's stroke rate was up, but Michigan pulled ahead, taking a one second lead of its own. The Huskies maintained an even pace, but couldn't close the gap, finishing second to the Wolverines with a time of 6:40.62, which puts them in Sunday's grand final, slated for 9:15am. Washington will get to line up with Michigan again, along with Oregon State, Wisconsin, USC and Washington State.
"The varsity women are most anxious to face off against Michigan again tomorrow," said Director of Rowing and women's head coach Bob Ernst. "We're hoping to bring home some trophies tomorrow. We have a really good team. It's a matter of this being our first chance to race this season. We haven't had good practice conditions the last few days, but we've gotta get going sooner or later and this is a great place to be."
In the men's novice eight race, the Huskies took a quick five second lead by the end of the first 500 meters. Orange Coast was the closest competitor, but Washington had opened a nine-second lead by the midway point of the race. The Huskies maintained and extended their lead through the second half of the course, coasting to an open water victory. Washington clocked a time of 6:08.60. Orange Coast finished behind the Huskies in 6:26.18. The Huskies will face Stanford, British Columbia, California, Oregon State and Orange Coast in the final Sunday at 11:10am.
The fourth race for Washington was the women's JV eight. The Huskies were fast off the start, opening up a half a length lead over Notre Dame by the first 500 meters. Washington maintained its lead through the midway point, then opened up an open water lead by the third 500. Washington finished the course in 6:08.60, nearly 10 seconds faster than Notre Dame. The Irish and Huskies will meet again in the grand final on Sunday at 10:00am. They will be joined by USC, Michigan, Miami and Iowa.
Washington's fifth race was the men's JV eight and again the Huskies pulled off a convincing win. The Huskies took an early three second lead over Harvard and never allowed the Crimson to get any closer. By the halfway point in the race, Washington had extended its lead to four seconds and by the third 500, the Huskies held a six-second advantage. Washington won the race in 6:08.62, over nine seconds ahead of the Crimson. The Huskies advance to the grand final to be held Sunday at 10:10am, where they will again meet the Crimson, along with UC Irvine, Oregon State, California, Stanford and Notre Dame.
In the Huskies' final outing of the day, the women's novice eight notched an open water victory over Oklahoma, outpacing the Sooners by nearly two lengths. Washington got out to a commanding lead in the first 500. By the halfway mark, the Huskies held a 10-second lead over UC Davis. The Sooners made their move in the third 500, overtaking Davis, but Washington was alone in the front. The Huskies finished the race in 7:08.18, while Oklahoma finished in 7:27.51. Sunday's final, slated for 11:00am, will feature Washington, Oklahoma, UC Davis, Oregon State, USC and Kansas State.
Freshman men's coach Luke McGee will offer Twitter updates on Washington rowing's official Twitter page at Twitter.com/UWHuskyCrew. The complete results are available on the San Diego Crew Classic's official webpage at here.